Because warmer air can hold more water, climate change will give the potential for stronger rainfall events. What this means for the risk of flooding, however, will vary widely from location to location depending on local climatic changes that at present are difficult to predict with confidence.Floods can be caused either by an excess of rainfall leading to greater surface runoff or by storm surges raising the sea level. Human activity can increase the risks, for example by paving over areas which were previously covered by vegetation, reducing the capacity of the land to absorb rainfall and causing it to run off more quickly. Planning decisions such whether to build houses in flood plains or position caravans next to the sea can also affect society’s vulnerability to floods.
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